Watch Lost in Austen

Written by Guy Andrews and directed by Dan Zeff, Lost In Austen is a portal fantasy starring Hugh Bonneville, released in 2008. Amanda Price is a 21st century girl who adores Jane Austen. When the miniseries opens, she has just rejected her alcoholic suitor, having found strength to be an independent woman in the Jane Austen heroines she so admires. Elizabeth Bennet appears in Amanda's bedroom one night, and she shows Amanda a portal hidden in the wall. Amanda steps through and is transported back to Georgian England, specifically the Bennet household. Elizabeth remains in the 21st century, serving as a nanny. Mr. Bennet accommodates Amanda while Elizabeth is in the city.

Amanda realizes at once she has entered a very famous Jane Austen novel. She struggles to keep the novel on track, gently conducting its plot toward the various conclusions she knows so well. This has catastrophic effects, however. She, not Jane Bennet, catches Mr. Bingley's eye when he visits Longbourn. Later, Mr. Bingley flirts openly with her, but Amanda tries to politely discourage his growing affection. Mr. Darcy appears and asks Amanda to dance. Later, intoxicated, Amanda kisses Mr. Bingley.

Mr. Bennet, who had hoped Mr. Bingley might court one of his daughters, commands Amanda not to interfere. In an attempt to right the situation, Amanda travels with Jane to Netherfield Park, but Jane merely comes down with flu. Amanda nurses Jane, fending off Mr. Bingley's overtures in the meantime; desperate, she confesses to him she is a lesbian. Later, Mr. Darcy and Amanda quarrel about Jane's uninvited presence. Caroline Bingley meanwhile seeks to upstage Amanda, who subsequently brags about her wealth.

Jane recovers; she and Amanda return to Longbourn. Their carriage breaks down on the way, but they are saved by Wickham, an army officer. Back at Longbourn, the Bennets entertain Mr. Collins, the entailed heir. Owing to a misunderstanding, Collins proposes to Amanda, and she accepts. Amanda's new life begins...

1 Season, 4 Episodes
December 19, 2007
Cast: Jemima Rooper, Elliot Cowan, Hugh Bonneville, Florence Hoath
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Lost in Austen Full Episode Guide

  • Darcy announces his engagement to Caroline Bingley, leaving Amanda feeling utterly bereft. This is coupled with the news that Bingley has run off with Lydia. This is all wrong - in the book Lydia runs away with Wickham. The party rush to London where Bingley and Lydia are found staying at an inn in Hammersmith. In an attempt to defend the honour of his daughter, Mr Bennet charges Bingley to a duel and is left critically injured.

  • Having left Longbourn with nowhere else to go, Amanda is forced to turn to her chief adversary, Wickham. He buys her a new dress and instructs her in matters of etiquette and bearing, before re-introducing her into society. He suggests that what Amanda needs to do is marry a rich man. However Amanda has other plans...

  • Amanda has become increasingly bored and frustrated with modern life. She craves the world of Pride and Prejudice; a world of courtship and romance, of bonnets and ballrooms. One fateful evening, after a difficult day at work and a lacklustre marriage proposal from her boyfriend Michael, Amanda discovers Elizabeth Bennet in her bathroom. There is a door behind the bath that has been boarded up for years, which Elizabeth says leads through to her family home, Longbourn. Amanda pushes the door and finds that it opens into a strange corridor. She climbs through the doorway, marvelling at where on earth she could be, when suddenly the door slams behind her, leaving Elizabeth in modern day London and Amanda in Georgian England.

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